Friday, February 19, 2010

News: Award Nominations for LPL Authors

Kage Baker's novella The Women of Nell Gwynne's has been nominated for the Nebula Award for Best Novella.  It is also up for the Hugo Award. 

In addition, her novel Hotel Under the Sand has been nominated for the Andre Norton Award. The Andre Norton Award is announced during Nebula weekend.

Monday, February 8, 2010

A Few Words for Kage Baker

A couple of nights before Kage died, I put David Lean's Great Expectations on a long pause, went into my office, and wrote her a farewell post.

Thinking both of Dickens and movies, and their influence on her work, and, through it, on me, let me find what I had to say - which was to tell her why, from the first, she and her work were so important to me.

It was, as I told her in that note, her editor, David Hartwell, who had first said it to me. It was shortly after she turned in Graveyard Game. "She's not perfect," he said. "Her characterizations slip sometimes. But the story, Linn. The story..."

The was it.

Later, as Kage honed her craft, her characterizations stopped slipping, but early or late, it was story that was primary with her. She worked backwards from the tale and, from it, found her characters. She did not develop characters and let her stories grow out of them, as American writers - and actors - are often taught. Her approach was more like the classical English approach to acting, building up from the outside, letting the action call forth the characters.

As I see it, the approach yielded complex stories of unusual clarity, stories she filled with characters called forth by the tales, animated from a life experience saturated with narratives and characters, shaped with an alert ear.

Kage's sister, Kathleen, tells me she believes the voice the reader hears in "The Literary Agent" was the voice Kage was always hearing. "The Literary Agent" is one of the first batch of stories published in Asimov's. It is a grace note that it is the only story of Kage's she had ever read to her mother, who always urged her to write.

It is, however, not one voice the reader hears in the tale, but two; it's a dialogue between Robert Louis Stevenson and Joseph, the story's literary agent, as well as, in other tales, cyborg father to immortal Mendoza, heroine of Kage's company works. It is fitting then, that, in this story, Joseph tells Stevenson: "This is your dream. This dream says you're going to become a famous author. You write slam-bang adventure stories." 

- Linn Prentis

Thursday, February 4, 2010

News: Bone Crossed on NYT Bestseller List

Patricia Briggs's Bone Crossed, the fourth novel in her Mercy Thompson series, reached #9 on the New York Times bestseller list (Paperback Mass-Market Fiction) for the week of February 6, 2010. The book also appeared for six weeks on the Sunday NYT hardcover list.

News: Locus Recommends Tachyon Publications

Tachyon Publications, for which we represent subsidiary rights, has nine recommendations on the Locus Magazine Recommended Reading list:

The Hotel Under the Sand by Kage Baker

We Never Talk About My Brother by Peter S. Beagle (recommended as a collection and including the recommended novelette, "By Moonlight")

The Best of Michael Moorcock by Michael Moorcock

The Secret History of Science Fiction, Edited by James Patrick Kelly & John Kessel

The Very Best of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Edited by Gordon Van Gelder

The Year's Best Fantasy 9, Edited by David G. Hartwell & Kathryn Cramer

The Year's Best SF 14, Edited by David G. Hartwell & Kathryn Cramer

Shambling Towards Hiroshima by James Morrow

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Kage Baker, who was with the agency long before its official inception, died in the early hours of January 31, 2010, after a short but heroic battle with cancer. 
She is best known for her Company works, an SF series spanning human history, two planets, and at least 3 variations on the human race; the tale ultimately ran to 8 volumes and dozens of short stories and novellas.  

She also wrote fantasy, notably the novels The Anvil of the World and The House of the Stag, the latter a finalist for a World Fantasy Best Novel Award in 2009.   She won the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award in 2004 for the novella Empress of Mars, published by Asimovs magazine, and later expanded and published as a Tor novel.   She was nominated several times for both the Hugo and Nebula awards.

Kages most recent novels are Not Less Than Gods, a steampunk novel featuring members of The Gentlemens Speculative Society (a Company precursor), and The Bird of the River, a romance set in the universe of Anvil of the World. Both will be published posthumously by Tor

Forty-eight hours after Baker's death, Locus released it's 2010 recommended reading list, featuring three of Baker's book titles: The Hotel Under the Sand, The Women of Nell Gwynne's, and The Empress of Mars. Further, three of the recommended anthologies include stories by her.